Training your dog isn’t just about teaching your dog how to shake your hand or “sing” on command. Those little tricks are adorable, but a large part of training is about ensuring your dog’s well-being. Basic things such as proper potty-training, crate training, “sit” and “stay” commands, and manners on the leash or around other humans and animals are not only necessary for your sanity, but also beneficial for your pup’s safety and happiness.
When we think about dog training, we often think about training puppies. Of course the little ones need to learn the ways of the world, but don’t forget about your older dogs—they need training, too! And contrary to the old saying, it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks!
How do I train my dog?
1. Figure out what your dog’s needs are
Does your dog throw a fit at the mere sight of a crate? Do they jump all over your house guests? Does your pup have a nasty habit of going potty indoors instead of outdoors? Do they like to try to bolt out of the front door at every opportunity? Once you start to identify the problems your dog struggles with, then you can get to work on the dog training tactics to fix them!
2. Timing is key
Timing is very important for your dog to understand what you are trying to communicate with them. It’s vital to praise positive behavior and not reinforce negative behavior. If your timing is off on your praise, you may accidentally end up praising the negative behavior instead of the positive behavior!
3. Keep it consistent
Staying consistent is key to success. Keeping your responses and timing consistent (whether your dog did something positive or negative) will help your dog understand what you are trying to teach them. Also, make sure to keep up with your training commands in different situations and environments. Whether you’re at the dog park, hanging out at home, visiting with friends, or on a walk, it’s important for your pooch to understand “sit” means “sit,” no matter where they go or what they’re doing.
4. Practice your patience
We get it, training your dog can be frustrating! Take breaks when you feel yourself getting frustrated. Raising your voice or showing any other signs of frustration will only confuse your pup and frustrate them, as well. Remember, it’s not their fault for displaying naughty behavior or not knowing any better. It’s our responsibility to teach them what good behavior is and help them while they learn. Your dog wants nothing more than to make you happy!
5. Make it fun!
Training can get boring, repetitive, and predictable for both you and your dog, so that’s why it’s important to switch things up a bit and find creative and fun ways to train your dog. A great way to do this is to use playtime sessions as a way to “sneak” in some training. For example, a simple game of “hide-and-seek” in your yard can be a great way to practice your dog’s recall abilities. Or while you are out for a walk, have your dog “sit” at stop signs or before you cross the street. Your dog will never know you’re actually training them because they’ll be having so much fun!
6. Training never stops!
Just like us humans, dogs are always learning. If they’re always learning, then we should try our best to always keep teaching them. As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect!” Dogs thrive off of our praise, so if they aren’t receiving praise anymore for their good deeds, you may end up undoing yours and your dog’s hard work!
Need more help with your dog’s training?
Don’t have the time to teach your pup the basics? Perhaps your dog has some behavioral problems beyond what you’re comfortable handling? Professional dog training options can range from in-home sessions to “doggie bootcamp” getaways for your pooch. Find a dog trainer that offers services that you think might be a good fit for you and your furry friend. Professional dog training services can be costly, but we think it’s money well-spent for a happy and well-behaved pup! However, remember you spend the most time with your pup, so it’s super important to keep up with training at home to get the best results. If you’re looking for a professional dog trainer in the Charleston area, here are some that we think are fabulous!
Training is the key to a happy dog and happy you!
Training your dog is not only beneficial to their safety and happiness–it will also create a stronger bond between you and your pup! Dog training doesn’t always have to be about obedience training either. Sometimes dogs just get bored and a little “brain game” can be very enriching for their minds. Training your dog doesn’t have to be another chore on your list of things to do. Make it fun for everyone…and don’t forget the treats!
Charleston Dog Walker is a professional dog walking and pet sitting company here to give Charleston pet parents like you a safe, trustworthy, and reliable pet care solution when you work or travel. Give us a call at 843-580-2212 to get more information about how we can help you or sign up today to get started!